WARNING: Mild spoilers for A Christmas Cruise and Empire
Tis the season to fall in love with holiday-themed TV movies.
On ION this Saturday, Vivica Fox stars in a fun tale about finding peace, love and happiness â€” personally and professionally â€” while on the high seas. It’s called A Christmas Cruise, a project that reunites her with The Young and the Restless‘ Kristoff St. John.
“Christmas films remind you about that warm, fuzzy time of the year,” says Fox, who’s starred in a number of them over the years. “They just hold special meaning to everyone.”
A Christmas Cruise provides the requisite warm and fuzzy feelings but that’s not the only element that makes it special. “It’s fully integrated, that’s what I love. Your leads are two African-American actors that are reunited, that did Generations, the first fully-integrated soap opera nearly 30 years ago.”
Back in the ’80s Fox appeared on Young and the Restless as Stephanie Simmons. But it was on NBC’s Generations where her character, Maya Reubens, was involved in a love triangle with St. John’s character, Adam Marshall. The groundbreaking yet short-lived daytime drama debuted in 1989 and was cancelled just a couple years later.
“This was a wonderful reunion for us,” Fox raves. “When a director told me that he got Kristoff St. John, I was thrilled. First of all, he’s tall. I can wear heels. Yay!”
And it didn’t hurt that while on Generations, she and St. John shared love scenes.
“I know he’s a good kisser,” she laughs. “And we filmed this in 12 days. You really need actors that can come in and do that work. That’s got the chops. That can bang out a lot of material, make it believable and have chemistry with. So that really made my job a lot easier and I was relieved.”
She also appreciates the mutual respect the two have for each other. “The last scene of the film that we shot, it was like three o’clock in the morning and it was freezing. It made me so grateful to have Kristoff there to do that scene with because I just got real nostalgic. It was strange. I don’t know why, but it got really nostalgic and it was like, ‘Wow, I’m here with you and my life is great and we’re doing this scene together and I don’t want you to leave me.'”
“I think we finished at four and he had an eight o’clock call on Young and the Restless,” Fox continues. “When people have respect for you like that, it just makes you so grateful.”
The rest of the Christmas Cruise cast includes ex-daytime vets like One Life to Live‘s Jessica Morris, Port Charles‘ Rib Hillis and Days of our Lives‘ Jason Cook as well as former Bachelor Nick Viall and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Supernatural actor Corin Nemec.
“This is about the fourth or fifth film that Jessica and I have done together. I feel like we’re starting to be like the Adam Sanders family. Adam’s got his crew of people that he calls and they make great, fun movies together and they bang them out. Everyone checks their ego at the door. They all realize that, ‘Hey, we’re on a time crunch,’ and they get the work done.”
The experience was made even richer because they were able to shoot their scenes on an actual ship. “The Queen Mary in Long Beach,” Fox shares. “The other locations were in the [San Fernando] Valley and Los Angeles. That’s also another thing that I love because I live in the valley in California. Going to work would usually be less than 15 minutes. So I was always grateful of that.”
Fox, who’s also one of the Christmas Cruise producers, confesses she’s already watched the movie four times. “Normally I’m critical of my work. I always look for things wrong,” she reveals. “This one I really enjoyed because it takes place on a cruise. So that’s different. They normally are kind of like middle America, guy finds girl, they break up, they have a certain formula.”
What’s refreshing for her is how much she relates to Pam, the woman she portrays. Early on, viewers will find out the writer is a workaholic “who’s so focused on work that she forgets about love,” explains the actress. “Which is very close to me because it’s kind of â€” in a way â€” where I am in life right now. Where I’m just working so much so everyone, when they ask, ‘Well, how’s your love life?’ I say, ‘My career is going great.’ So it was really easy for me to play a workaholic.”
Speaking of her great career, Fox is about to return to FOX’s Empire. “[On] January 2, I’m headed back to Chicago to play Cookie’s older sister, Candace. I’m slated to do some more episodes and I’m so thrilled because that’s like a a wonderful reunion for me to work with that whole cast of actors. We all kind of grew up together.”
“But this is the first time that Taraji [P. Henson a.k.a Cookie Lyon] and I are sharing the screen together,” she adds. “I’m so proud of her, and the show, and they’re doing great. And Phylicia Rashad is on there. Tasha Smith plays our sister. So, it’s just like a real homecoming. We have the best time together.”
In 2018, Fox expands her repertoire when she releases her very first book. “Every Day I’m Hustling is coming out April 3 and it’s basically a motivational memoir. It’s [designed] to be inspiring to everyone entering new chapters in your life, regardless of your nationality or your age. And to just inspire people and let them know that, ‘Hey, I found a way to make it through different chapters and to be a 50-year-old proud African-American woman making it do what it do.”
A Christmas Cruise premieres this Saturday at 9/8c on ION.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…